By controlling the use of Nirvana video footage and recorded music, those overseeing the estate of Kurt Cobain have made it hard to make any sort of film about the reluctant rock star who met his untimely end 13 years ago. Filmmaker AJ Schnack got around the tight restrictions for Kurt Cobain: About A Son by building a narrative around photographic stills and 25 hours of biographer Michael Azerrad's post-fame interviews with Cobain. Schnack proved equally resourceful in creating a soundtrack sans Nirvana tunes.
Instead of hiring some commercial jingle company to record Nirvana sound-alike numbers, music by artists who meant something to Cobain was gathered, including songs by Half Japanese, Neil Young, Scratch Acid, Arlo Guthrie, Butthole Surfers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Melvins, David Bowie, Bad Brains, R.E.M., Leadbelly and others.
It's certainly an odd assortment of characters you'd never find together on any other thematic comp, but thanks to some astute track selection that had nothing to do with chart placement and thoughtful sequencing, the disc makes for an engaging stand-alone spin.